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Questions Asked over Absence of Conservative Committee Chair and Vice-Chair

>> 14 November 2017

Councillors have raised questions over the commitment of local Conservative councillors after the Banff & Buchan Area Committee was today (Tuesday) left without a Chair or a Vice-Chair and had to elect a stand-in.

A storm erupted after it emerged both the Chair and Vice-Chair of that Committee - Conservatives Andy Kille Michael Roy – were both absent on holiday. The position of Chair attracts a payment of just under £9000 per year for carrying out that function.

The dates for meetings of the Banff & Buchan Area Committee were known well in advance of May’s Local Government elections and opposition councillors argue that in addition to a full-time commitment, the absence of key representatives is a betrayal of election promises to truly represent constituents in a committed way.

Chair of Aberdeenshire Council’s Audit Committee and SNP councillor for Troup ward Ross Cassie said:

“I don’t understand why people put themselves up for election and then do not make an attempt to represent the people and the communities in the ward that elected them.”

“Back in May our local Tories were very vocal about their electoral success and who wouldn’t be? However, with that success comes a responsibility to the positions to which you have been elected. As today is not an incident in isolation, this demonstrates a clear lack of discipline within the local Conservative Party, and a clear lack of conscience on the part of the elected members who have seemingly decided that a holiday is more important than representation. We have lengthy recesses in the council calendar in line with school holidays when there are many opportunities for holidaying outwith the committee timetables.”

SNP Councillor for Fraserburgh & District, Charles Buchan added:

“It has become very clear since the May local elections that some of our Conservative councillors are not taking their work seriously. For both the Chair and Vice-Chair to deliberately clear off on another holiday, missing one of the most important meetings for Banff & Buchan, shows a lack of commitment to the people they represent, including the people with planning applications to be determined, and those who will be affected financially by Area decisions.

“They appear to be copying the antics of Moray Tory MP Douglas Ross who also disappeared from his day job.”

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